Fever to Tell
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this CD may inspire a "Hey, I can do that!" reaction in teenagers, which is good. But the songs are unimpressive, with just enough gratuitous profanity for a parental advisory sticker, and not enough to bother providing an edited version.
What's the story?
The Brooklyn-based Yeah Yeah Yeahs might sound a whole lot like the band that rehearses in your garage -- the one with your kids in it. And though your kids might not play or sing as well as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they just might write better songs. FEVER TO TELL brings us Karen O., an impressive lead singer who wraps her big voice around unimpressive lyrics, but her slightly hysterical edge grows tedious after a while. Nick Zinner is an accomplished and uninhibited guitarist with an ax to grind, and Brian Chase is a powerful, passionate drummer. But the songs are simplistic and monotonous, and the lyrics so self-consciously edgy that some sound like self-parody: \"We could do it to each other/we're like a sister and a brother\" could almost work as part of a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Is it any good?
There's a lot of potential here, if the Yeah Yeah Yeahs can learn to get over themselves and come up with some better material. If you're looking for what's good about Fever to Tell, it's probably its accessibility. If teenage rockers hear this CD and think, "I can do that," that's a good thing.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how important it is that the integrity of the lyrics supports the quality of the music. In this case, the performers show a lot of talent in the way they sing and play their instruments, but weak lyrics bring down the end result.